I had always felt uncomfortable with the reality of not really knowing what God sounds like. It made me feel so uneasy that I never wanted to try to listen to Him. I didn’t even bother trying. You see, in my mind, it just wasn’t possible to truly know when God was trying to communicate with me.
Then something happened.
…and I needed answers that only God could possibly provide. My options were black and white. I could either go through life guessing or I could finally face God and ask for answers. I chose the latter.
At this juncture, I have to confess that I am no authority on this topic. If you are looking for information on hearing from God, check out Layhands (update: this site no longer exists, unfortunately). That website is overflowing with some of the most insightful material on the internet. I combed through a lot of information and finally came across an article of theirs on how to hear from God. I read it, digested it, thought about it, and finally took the first step towards hearing from this God that made me. I believed it could happen. I finally realized that if I did not believe 100% that God could somehow talk to me, I would never be able to recognize his voice even if he were screaming in my left ear.
Naturally, it’s easy to believe initially. It’s continuing to believe that really separates the men from the boys. I mean, how do you know for sure that it’s not satan or the lasagna from yesterday that’s talking to you? Again, I recommend Layhands for an in depth analysis but the simple answer is this: practice. The more you get into the swing of hearing from God, the easier it gets.
Once I crossed this mental hurdle, something incredible happened. A “thought” popped into my mind—the problem is that the thought was so clear, so profound, and so compelling that I knew that it was not something I came up with myself. It was either God was speaking to me or the devil was. To me, that was progress. With time, patience, and faith I began to develop an instinctive ability to discern the voice of God. I slowly developed an “ear” for hearing the voice of my Father.
Why am I telling you all of this? Well, there is a TON that can be learned from this experience.
Notice that there was a pattern.
1. I thought something was impossible
2. I then encountered a seemingly impossible problem
3. I made the choice to tackle this impossible problem
4. I made the choice to change my belief system
5. My openness allowed the solution to my impossible problem to flow into my life
Notice also, that I didn’t spend hours cracking my brain in an attempt to figure out the solution to the problem. In fact, all I really needed to do was identify my problem, amend my belief system, and open my mind to the possibilities available. Time and time again, this paradigm has worked beautifully in helping me along my way.
For most problems, steps 1-5 are sufficient; however, some challenges exhibit what I like to call the bounce back effect. They are just like acne—an ongoing battle that you just can’t ignore. For these problems, I pull out my joker.
6. Identify a source of strength and go back to it often for reinforcement. If you think that a problem is truly impossible, chances are that you have tried to solve that problem on your own in the past and you failed. For some people, this source of strength is a therapist. For others, its chocolate. For this particular problem, I chose God as my source of strength. Pick wisely and do what works for you.
Finally, as you might imagine, there are a million and one ways to solve any given problem. However, some solutions are more straightforward than others. This is one of those straightforward approaches so adopt it. Practice it. Master it. Then pass it on.
Until next time, stay motivated!